From Middle English overseen, ouverseen, from Old English ofersēon (to observe, oversee; to overlook, neglect), equivalent to over- +‎ see.


  • IPA(key): /əʊvə(ɹ)siː/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: over‧see
  • Rhymes: -iː
  • Homophone: oversea


oversee (third-person singular simple present oversees, present participle overseeing, simple past oversaw, past participle overseen) (transitive)

  1. (literally) To survey, look at something in a wide angle.
  2. (figuratively) To supervise, guide, review or direct the actions of a person or group.
    Synonym: superintend
    It is congress's duty to oversee the spending of federal funds.
  3. To inspect, examine
    Gamekeepers oversee a hunting ground to see to the wildlife's welfare and look for poachers.
  4. (obsolete) To fail to see; to overlook, ignore.
  5. To observe secretly or unintentionally.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit